Aggravation, thy name is this article.

My friend sent me this article and I was so aggravated while reading it that I had to write this note. I realize that a lot of folks are going to think “wow, Rachael is taking this Twilight stuff a WEE bit too seriously” but it’s not about “Twilight” perse; it’s about all the books like this that come under attack (I’m looking at you Harry Potter).

I encourage you to read as much of the article below as you can stomach before reading what I have to say but here are my problems with this Sue Bohlin person’s assertions about this series of novels:

1. She clearly did not even read the books. I HATE that. I cannot stand it when someone doesn’t even take the time to read a book but will do everything they can to demonize the author and the novel. READ THE DAMN BOOK before you go spouting off erroneous perspectives and save us all the blather.
2. It’s now wrong to have a dream? Really? Because she dreamed about the characters prior to writing the novel, she is being talked to by the devil? If that’s the case, should we all start really monitoring our dreams that closely? And what happens when I have a dream where my teeth fall out? Plenty of authors write books based on dreams they’ve had. Heck, I’ve started books based on a dream. Am I evil? Are the characters evil? <ENTER PARANOIA-LAND> 
3. In the part about “Vampires, Blood, and Salvation” this woman says that the Cullens’ – and other vampires’ powers – did not come from God. What? Why not? They had the proclivity for these powers long before they became vampires and many were chosen to be vampires because of those powers (Alice, Jasper, etc.) Again I say: READ THE FRIGGIN’ BOOK FIRST. Unless she’s trying to say they were evil people to begin with? So confused. And aggravated.
4. Same section, she says people “long for supernatural powers.” Duh. Hello Disney, Stan Lee, ComiCon attendees. Is she serious? Raise your hand if you would NOT like to fly if that super power were available…I’m waiting…thought so.
5. Her “Probe colleague” says you can’t turn vampires into whatever you want – they are inherently evil. Excuse me? Hello fictional character invented by an author originally. Isn’t that what literary freedom is all about? She’s clearly embraced the concept with this article. She’s making crap up about a book she never read…I’m gonna call that blatant literary freedom.
6. Using fringe folks who clearly have some sort of mental impairment and imagine that they must have access to something outside of societal norms and mores to survive is not an acceptable comparison to make with tweens and teens reading a fantasy novel. Not OK.
7. Saying that the vampires can’t be “good” is just dumb. Do we not all have choices in life? Can we not chose to do good? Can we not have horrible things happen to us and rather than blame those things for our bad choices and bad behaviors – going the easy route – chose to make good choices and do the right thing? I think so – I hope so…if not, we’re in bigger trouble than even this woman realizes.
8. Believe it or not, I’m gonna agree with her on the dysfunctional relationship thing. Let’s face it…Bella and Edward’s relationship isn’t exactly 100% healthy…but it’s teenagers…and they are required to make dumb relationship choices. It’s a right of passage. But again I say, if my Pineapple is caught with a boy in her room (sparkly or otherwise) when she’s a teen – or at any age, she’s in deep caca. And if she goes all zombie-esque over a breakup, then we’ll deal with it; but hopefully I will have raised her to be strong and stand on her own two feet. Plus, the chances of her actually dating a vampire are…zilch.
9. Regarding the whole “eternal life” thing, NONE of the Cullens actually wanted to be changed. They were all dying. Literally on the verge of death. Most people on their death beds, if given a chance to get up and move around again, would feel that their lives had been “saved” just like Edward says. Don’t believe me? March on over to the ER and wait for someone to get hit with a defibrillator and then ask them if they’d rather the doc hadn’t bothered. And, Bella believes that they have souls. And I do, too. So there.
10. In the “Emotional Pornography” section, she quotes someone as saying that the only reason Edward will not have sex with Bella is because he literally can’t for fear of killing her. Um…NO that is not the only reason why. <INSERT MAJOR GRUMBLE AND ANOTHER ROUND OF ‘FOR THE LOVE READ A STINKIN’ BOOK’> Edward doesn’t want to have sex with Bella until they are married because he wants to protect her virtue. For. The. Love.
11. Again with the emotional pornography – I’ve read a LOT of books for teens given that I’d like to write one. I have to say in all of the books I have read, there is some sort of “emotional/sexual” tension. It’s interesting to teenagers because it is ACCURATE. You can’t walk around with that many hormones and NOT have some sort of sexual/emotional tension happening. Not to mention the fact that by far, these books are much more tame than a lot of the others I’ve read that are aimed at teen girls…Gossip Girl anyone? Pretty Little Liars? Vampire Diaries? Hello!!!!

I’m done. I can rant no longer. I swear, though…I really, truly wish some folks would take a few moments to read the books they are planning to criticize and consider the individuals who HAVE taken the time to read them. Then they might pause to recognize that maybe all of them aren’t drooling morons incapable of making a rational decision for themselves or standing up for what they see as a gross misinterpretation of a fantasy fiction piece of writing.

Oh yeah…and a lot of us are Christians.

KISSES!

P.S. Please share YOUR thoughts! Even if you disagree – I don’t mind a dialogue and this post isn’t written with the intention of offending anyone but rather to share my thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation! 🙂

WHAT THE…What happened to RPatz?!

EW. EW. EW.

Just EW.

OK folks – I realize I’m too old for this crap but I just have to say this….WHAT THE HELL DID MADAME TUSSAUDS DO TO RPATZ?!

Did you SEE this nightmare?! It’s a wax sculpture that is truly terrifying! (FYI, MamaPop had a good post about it which you can check out here.)

[The girl in the background is not screaming in fear only because she is seeing this monstrosity from behind.]

What did they use for inspiration?! Certainly not this:

[SMOKING HOT]

Or this:

[OMG. Sparkly Vampires Rule.]

They must have been using something like this for inspiration:

[FOR. THE. LOVE! DON’T TOUCH IT!]

Or maybe this guy:

Possibly a giraffe???

I mean, really folks. Who the hell designed that neck? What on EARTH were they thinking? Too many James Cameron movies?! Are we so desperate to be aliens? What happened here? So. Confused.

Oh and FYI, just in case the casting agents are looking for someone to replace K-Stew in Breaking Dawn….I’m happy to offer my services:

[She always looks angry or depressed in the posters…I’d be all “wOOt! Check out my boys in the background…they are fiiiiiiine! Love triangles RULE!”]

Needless to say, I will not be scarring Pineapple with a trip to Madame Tussauds to see a terrifying sculpture of one of the most beautiful men alive anytime soon. <shudder>

XOXO Rachael

Nightlight

We have one of those Amish fireplaces which we were given as a gift by my inlaws. It’s in our bedroom and it rocks. It can SERIOUSLY put out some heat and the little simulated ‘firelight’ is actually kinda nice. Until recently, when the bulbs completely burnt out, this was the primary nightlight in our bedroom….but when they went dark, it got me searching around our house for some other sort of nightlight…and I discovered a few things….

First, I should probably back up and explain our sleeping arrangements. You see, our home is a split level home with the master bedroom and bath on the bottom floor and everything else on the top floor – including Pineapple’s room. You enter somewhere near the middle and have a really neat Alice In Wonderland-ish option of going up…or going down. Although our house needs some work – modernization, a few improvements, etc. – I fell in love with it the first time we entered the front door. Of course, this was pre-Pineapple and well, I didn’t fully think through the whole “she’ll be upstairs and we’ll be downstairs” scenario. Let’s just say that the idea of putting my baby in a crib down two hallways and upstairs from where I sleep did not instill in me any feelings of comfort and ease. As a result, we outfitted Pineapple’s room and we also purchased a baby bed for our master bedroom…and…wellllll….this is where she still sleeps.

Before you get all “Rachael is a big weirdo who can’t sleep more than 2 feet away from her kid” just think about this for a moment: it’s cold where we are. And we have ELECTRIC WALL HEATERS. They aren’t particularly safe and fall in the category of ‘one of those things we need to fix.’ And I just CAN’T LET HER SLEEP UP THERE WITH THAT HEATER AND BEING SO FAR AWAY! *sigh*

So, there. Now you know the ugly truth.

And now that you understand our sleeping arrangements, you’ll understand the need for a good nightlight and why I valued the mock fire crackling in the corner of the room.

While on my hunt for a new nightlight, I came across several that were scattered through my home with no apparent rhyme or reason. One was a Febreze dual-misty + nighlight do-hickey that had no more misting ampules..so that was out. Another was this really pretty little bronze colored glass overplated with some sort of metallic frame that looked like lattice work – but it was too dim. I found a turtle that was given to Pineapple by her ADQ before she was born. He’s super neat and projects a real starry night sky on the ceiling – in three different colors no-less – and comes with a chart of the stars. But he’s kinda bright and kinda distracting and Pineapple kinda likes to shout and point at the stars more than she likes to sleep. So, monsieur tortue (that’s French for “Mr. Turtle” – because he’s fancy) is only allowed out to play during awake times. In my desperation for light during our brief stint without any illumination, I used a flashlight, a reading light and my phone alternately to check on Pineapple or navigate the room. I also scooched a smidge closer to DH during the night – his warmth and presence are a nightlight of their own, in many ways. But I finally found a good nightlight; one that was given to me by my stepmom for Christmas. It’s a fleur de lis – in honor of my original home state of Louisiana – and it has a wee sensor that determines if the night is in need of a little light.

But all this hunting for a nightlight made me wonder why we need them in the first place. I know why I need a nightlight: I’m scared of the dark. And I know why most people want one: so they can feel comforted when their sleep is interrupted or they’re feeling a little vulnerable. So that made me think…am I Pineapple’s nightlight? Does she look to me in the night for help and security and comfort? Yeah. She kinda does.

I’m a nightlight. Who’da thunk it?

On a totally seperate note, check out my “I Like to Read (A Lot)” post about the Twilight mock-fanfic book called “Nightlight.” And enjoy!

Pineapple…Someday You’ll Understand

Dear Pineapple –

Tonight is a very, very special night for mommy. The reason it’s so special is because tonight is the night that New Moon premiers…and mommy has midnight tickets with her friends.

Yes, I know…you really want to go see the vampire and werewolf movie with the cute boys who, let’s be honest, are closer in age to you than mommy, but that is just too bad. You are too young to be quiet in the theater for 2 hours…much less understand the subtle innuendo in the movie and why the audience squeals out loud on occasion. And you’re much too young to understand what it would mean to really love a vampire…or a werewolf. Thank goodness!

You’re also too young to get into the bar that mommy and her girlfriends will be going to prior to the movie. At that bar, mommy and her friends will enjoy drinks that are colored red and talk about all things Twilight, Stephanie Meyer, Edward and Jacob. We will discuss the fact that Bella’s mouth hangs open too much and she bites her lip too frequently to be truly appealing to a werewolf; much less a vampire who should know better and who should definitely be interested in someone older and wiser, if not hotter. We’ll talk about the fact that Edward sneaking into Bella’s room at night is perfectly acceptable but would definitely NOT be cool if it were your room or the room of mommy’s friend’s daughter. Not. Cool.

And for future reference, I don’t care HOW much you think you are in love…if you EVER leave town (or the COUNTRY, for heaven’s sake!) to go and save your vampire boyfriend from an early demise, you are GROUNDED. Forever! And no motorcycle riding with werewolves. Or cliff jumping. In fact, let’s just go ahead and agree that you won’t date until you’re 30…sign here, and here….thank you.

Mommy and her friends will leave the bar a little later – and even gigglier – to queue up in line an hour and a half before the movie starts. But don’t worry. Mommy is bringing her water bottle filled with champagne and red food coloring. Shhh. Don’t tell! Mommy also has sparkly Twilight candy which she found on the ‘After Halloween Sale’ table at the grocery store – LUCKY mommy!

For the first time in years, mommy will wait in line for something other than the purchase of home supplies. And she’ll laugh and have fun and be ever so thankful that she’s old enough to enjoy a drink along with her teenage vampire fiction – unlike many of the other females who will also be waiting to see the show.

When it’s mommy’s turn to go into the theater, she’ll quickly grab a seat with her friends – and hopefully they won’t have to sit way in the front because that’s just no fun! As the lights dim, mommy will turn and smile at her friends, who will smile back at her, because they will be very excited that they’ve found each other and that they’re not judging each other for their little obsession (like soooo many of their coworkers have been judging them – meanies). They’ll be happy that they’re having some innocent fun and daydreaming about a time when they were young enough to meet their own vampire or werewolf and fall in love for the first time – something that I hope you enjoy some day (the falling in love for the first time – not the vampire /werewolf part). But don’t be nervous – mommy would still choose daddy over some silly old vampire…probably…most likely…FOR SURE…she would FOR SURE chose daddy. *WHEW*

Throughout the movie, mommy and her friends will be nervous, sad, excited, happy, and frustrated. We’ll have fun seeing the story we enjoyed reading play out on the big screen. And we’ll enjoy this little vice; this little thing that is silly and funny and ridiculous but makes us feel young again.

When the movie is over, mommy will come home and run her fingers through your hair, kiss your little nose, and whisper how much she missed you. Then she’ll kiss daddy goodnight, tell him to roll over and stop snoring, and then she’ll doze off; happily dreaming of Forks, WA and the exciting events that unfold in a sleepy town.

You might think mommy is silly – just like her coworkers do. And you might think mommy shouldn’t read these books or watch these movies that are meant for young girls. But what you don’t realize is that mommy is really just a young girl herself. Mommy might look like a grownup and, most of the time, she acts like one. But really…she’s just a little girl. And she still has daydreams. And she still likes romance. And she still thinks that the impossible can be possible…and she hopes that you always believe the same.

So be good for daddy – don’t splash him with too much bath water or be too demanding at bedtime – and sleep sweet. I’ll see you in the morning.

Love,

Mommy

P.S. 14 hours, 16 minutes and 35 seconds.

UPDATE: Since more than one person has now asked, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the movie. Here you go:

  • I liked it! (So pbbbtttt critics – you’re too critical!).
  • I was so glad that they ‘fixed’ the super fast vampire issue. Meaning, in the first movie whenever they ran or climbed or did something super fast, it just looked like they were hovering over the ground a few inches and their feet never touched the ground…I liked the ‘slowed down’ or ‘blurred’ aspect of this movie – we’re smart enough to understand that they’re supposed to be moving really fast.
  • I thought the CG was good – and so did DH.
  • I thought the drama was perfect. Jacob was AMAZING. When Bella left him, I was seriously cringing in my seat – wondering WHY WHY WHY?! But when she ran to Edward and he was sooo happy to see her – so content – so relieved – it was palpable. I must say – the men did some darned good acting in this film.
  • I am wondering how Bryce Dallas Howard will perform as Victoria in Eclipse…very, very curious.
  • I will NOT drink ‘Glitter Pants’ before Eclipse…or possibly ever again. My girlfriends and I drank these drinks at our prefunk bar – we felt they were appropos given that Edward ‘glitters’ – but it ended up being a shaky night as a result. I was FORCED to go see the movie again on Sunday with my MIL and DH – the things I do for family! – and it was much more memorable without the Glitter Pants (which FYI, is a martini made with vanilla infused vodka, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and a sugar stick as a stir stick = deadly).
  • Pineapple totally didn’t care at all about the movie. She was unimpressed to the point that BOTH times I went to see the movie, she slept. *yawn* she is TOO cool for school…now if we could just get her to sleep at other times (*sigh*) – maybe we should just play Twilight all night long so she’ll sleep through the night….hmmmmm…..

 

“Daddy I Want to go to Vancouver NOOOOW!”

This is what Veruca Salt would have have requested of her daddy in lieu of a golden goose, if she knew what the Twilight movies were…and where the cast films…and cared at all about the Olympics.

Have you ever gotten information about a contest and thought “ooooooh, I totally want to win THAT!” Then you check out the fine print and realize that you can’t enter because of your day job and, therefore, your connection to the company? Yeah, me too.

So since I can’t enter, I thought I’d tell you about it – so you can enter.

The Microsoft Office team, with support from the U.S. Olympic Committee, recently launched a new contest to send two bloggers – one woman and one student – to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver BC.  The winners will use the latest Office technology to cover the games and will get a press pass allowing them access to areas normally off-limits – like press conferences with the athletes and the USA House where the athletes hang out.

 You can learn more about it and enter at www.OfficeWinterGames.com.

Now this is seriously cool and would be AWESOME to win. For multiple reasons. Aside from the PRIMARY reason that attending the Winter Olympics would be seriously cool (I was in Utah for the Winter Olympics years ago and it was sooooo neat – really), if you’re in Vancouver…you are ALSO where the Twilight gang films the movies!!! (SQUEEE!)

And you can go to all the places they hang! (According to OK!, Kristen and RPatz hang out in the Loose Moose – a dive bar – and the whole crew had dinner a couple of weeks ago at Players Steakhouse.) I don’t know if they’ll be there filming at that time…although Breaking Dawn IS scheduled for June, so it’s possible – but either way, you can geek out and take pics at all the places they hang! (Good God I am a total nerd/loser – it’s official – because I would TOTALLY do this.)

So, enter, get a free trip to the Olympics, and geek out all over Vancouver in a Twilight-y kinda way! Sounds like a win-win! *sigh*

UPDATE: OOPSIES! I meant to say that ECLIPSE is scheduled for June. Not Breaking Dawn. Gettin’ a leetle ahead of myself here. ; ) Thanks Sarah!

sucked into the TWILIGHT zone

Stephanie Meyer will be the death of me. I will blame her for my loss of job, loss of relationships and loss of my child’s early years. She and the Cullen clan will be responsible for my demise. And WHAT A WAY TO GO!

I actually began reading the Twilight series when the very first book came out. I happened to be finishing up my master’s degree and working in a bookstore part-time and the teenage girls that FLOODED the store when the paperback version came out were INSANE. So naturally, I thought that I should be “down with the kids” (yes, I just said that) and read these books (because Lord knows manga was never an option). I was completely sucked in from the first paragraph. By the time the other books started coming out, I was sickly, deathly addicted. I also have this habit of rereading prior books in a series when a new one comes out – just so the story is fresh in my mind and I’m not missing any neat little details (this has proven to be a very bad habit when reading Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series…I think she’s on book 15 or something insane like that…but I digress). Year-before-last for Christmas, I asked for the entire series in hard-back and received it (THANK’S SANTA!). *sigh* The rest of my holiday was spent in a chair in the corner reading them for the 3rd time. Of course, this was pre-Pineapple and I had way more time on my hands than I realized.

Most recently, my friends have started really getting into the series. I have so much fun talking to them about the books, the Cullens, the werewolves (or are they…) and our life-sucking facination with these books. The end result of these conversations with my friends is that I was compelled to read the entire series again. A daunting task when you have a FT job, a DH and a Pineapple, all needing attention. Thankfully, Pineapple is mostly sleeping through the night and goes down fairly early, DH is just as addicted to Call of Duty as I am to these books (anybody need a free copy of Call of Duty – just send me your address and it’s YOURS), so I have plenty of time to read before bed.

I’m now done with this round of rereading. Loved every minute of it. But now…I’m having DREAMS about the Cullens. Believe me when I say, I am much, much, much to old to be dreaming about teenage vampires and young girls who are in love with them. Too. Old. Buuuuuut I just can’t help it. It’s such a guilty pleasure and so few of those are available to me right now.

So, if you – like me – are a mommy (new or old) and just need a fun, healthy outlet, these books are a GREAT option. If you’re thinking “no way – those are for teenagers!” then I encourage you to embrace your inner braces-wearing, awkward and gangly youth and get over yourself! Who CARES who they are written for? Who cares who they are marketed to?! Believe me, these books are just what you need. And if you are truly able to put the book down and walk away after the first page – then I’m sure Nora Roberts has something that you might enjoy. (She’s great, too!)